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Living from the Heart

Hocking Hills After a Rain - Photo by Marg HerderListen to the wind, it talks.
Listen to the silence, it speaks.
Listen to your heart, it knows.
—Native American Proverb

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
—Nelson Mandela

During the month of February, numerous articles and advertisements appear promoting romantic love and courtship. There’s nothing wrong with romantic love. On the contrary, many of us deeply appreciate the loving partners in our lives. But that’s certainly not the only kind of love capable of lifting our spirits and making our hearts dance with joy. Love springing forth from the heart often extends well beyond limited definitions and encompasses so much more. It includes our beloved pets, children, family, friends, and communities; the magnificent splendor of nature, wild animals, waterfalls, soothing music, and glimmering sunlight; and the eternal quest for creative expression, self-discovery, and exploration.

Life lived from the heart is full of surprises. Often, such a life is not strictly linear, logical, or practical. Instead, it takes risks. It follows passions. It circles back in memory and moves forward in action. It refuses to simply stagnate and then die. A life of the heart continually expands and grows, experiencing moments of both intense joy and extreme suffering. But no one would willingly trade a single moment of love shared with a child, partner, sibling, or parent in exchange for non-suffering—because the sacrifice of not ever having loved that person would be too great. We may not desire suffering, but we also don’t refuse love because of it. If anything, the wounded, broken, and vulnerable places in our hearts hold significant life lessons: such as, a better understanding of what’s truly important during our brief time on this earth.

Recently, I watched, “The Good Lie,” a movie about four young Sudanese refugees and their journey to America. What I appreciated about the movie was its ability to show me my world through a new lens—and introduce me to a far off world containing the hardships of war and material poverty, as well as the tender beauty and love of family. Sometimes, hearing the stories of others can help remind us of our enormous capacity to love—against all odds and in ways we may never have imagined. These stories teach us to care for one another.

So, what really matters in your life? Success? Possessions? Jobs? Is there something more tugging at your heart? Something more you desire?

Slow down. Breathe. Listen.   

Hear the children laughing. Babies crying. Trees swaying. And your heart calling.

Follow it.

In joy & gratitude,

Diana J. Ensign

 

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Diana Ensign’s Books

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Faith, Hope, Action

A Moment of Calm

Heart Guide

The Freedom to Be

Traveling Spirit